Helen Margaret Hall is an Australian teacher who first went to teach in Thailand for one year as part of the Adventist Volunteer Services in 1982. She is now 80 years old, and still there — the longest-serving and oldest active AVS missionary.
Question: What took you to Thailand originally?
Answer - Karen - Government - School - Thai
Answer: In 1982, the Karen government school (on the Thai side of the border) needed someone to come and work there, and a local pastor asked me to do it. I was given a leave of absence from the Victorian Conference in Australia, where I was employed as a teacher at the time.
I had barely arrived when the Thai government announced that all refugees must return to Burma. I was faced with a dilemma: Should I go back to Burma with the Karen refugees or return home to Australia having accomplished nothing?
Answer - Burma - School - Refugees - House
The answer was not hard. I decided to go back to Burma with the school refugees. They built me a house but it took some time, so for the first semester, I lived on the Thai side and commuted back and forth by boat.
You founded and run Eden Valley Academy, a school for Karen refugees who have come over the border to Thailand from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). When did the school begin?
Years - Burma - Side - Moei - River
I spent two years on the Burma side of the Moei river, but when bombing of refugees began, we had to move back to Thailand. I was still working in the same capacity in the government school, but then in 1984 some Americans donated money to the local Karen people, and they chose to use it to open a school for refugees in a remote area of Burma, and asked me to run it.
The Karen people said they wanted a Christian school like the...
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